10 homes architects and designers have created for themselves

From John Pawson’s minimally styled London house to the skinny Rotterdam residence of architect couple Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best self-designed homes by architects and designers.

Notting Hill home, London, England by John Pawson

John Pawson paired Scandinavian furnishings with white surfaces and pale wooden floors to furnish his own Notting Hill house. He says this minimal style is reflective of his own aesthetic tastes, rather than a proposal for an alternative, stripped-back lifestyle.

“I don’t design what I do because I want to try and live the way it’s telling me to,” Pawson told Dezeen columnist Will Wiles. “It’s just how I want things. It’s a reflection of who I am and what I am.”

Find out more about John Pawson’s house ›

The Scenario House, London, England by Ran Ankory and Maya Carni

Scenario Architecture founder Ran Ankory and Maya Carni added a glass-roofed extension to their family home, opening up the interiors and creating a split-level reception space facing the garden. A lounge occupies the lower area at the front of the house, and a more casual area for relaxing in front of a fireplace.

“This house was a chance to be our own clients,” said the architect couple. “It presented us with the opportunity to ‘practice what we preach’ to its fullest expression and create the Scenario House.”

Find out more about the Scenario House ›

SkinnyScar, Rotterdam, the Netherlands by Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman

Hidden windows, black brick walls and a large indoor hammock feature in this skinny house that Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman designed for themselves. The property occupies a gap of 3.4 metres wide and 20 metres deep between residences in a Rotterdam neighbourhood.

“Each city has neglected spaces like this that are unused and underrated,” the duo explained. “These gaps can be upgraded to complete the urban fabric, while giving it a boost and creating possibilities for new forms of urban living for the adventurous ones.

Find out more about SkinnyScar house ›

Steam-bent wood house, Cornwall, England by Tom and Danielle Raffield

Based on techniques developed in their furniture design, Tom and Danielle Raffield used steam-bent timber – a traditional way of shaping timber using heat and moisture – to cover the extension to their home, which occupies an old gamekeeper’s lodge.

“We’d never design anything that we wouldn’t have in our own home, but we’d never had a chance to design for our own space before,” said Tom Raffield. “We wanted to build a house with the same consideration and attention to detail we put into our furniture and lighting.”

Find out more about the Steam-bent oak house ›

Micro apartment, Moscow, Russia by Alireza Nemat

Home to Studio Bazi founder Alireza Nemati and his wife, this micro apartment in Moscow features a raised wooden volume that hosts the sleeping quarters and disguises storage space. Nemati used the box to create an open-plan space with privacy in the sleeping areas.

“The wooden sleep box with storage system provides a level of privacy, separating the sleeping quarters in a raised corner of the apartment,” said Nemati. “From the inside of the sleep box, there is a good view of the whole flat and to the windows, which makes it a very cosy place.”

Find out more about the Micro apartment ›

Villa S, Bergen, Norway by Todd Saunders

Bergen-based architect Todd Saunders described the process of designing his blackened timber family home in Bergen, Norway as “schizophrenic”. He lifted the residence above the ground on two podiums, sheltering a patch of garden and a set of swings for his children.

“When you have a client you usually have a bit of resistance, or a soundboard to throw your ideas against,” Saunders told Dezeen. “But when you’re designing your own house the only discussions are in your head so it gets really schizophrenic sometimes.”

Find out more about Villa S ›

Murphy House, Edinburgh, Scotland by Richard Murphy

The five-storey “box of tricks” Edinburgh home of architect Richard Murphy features an assortment of adaptable spaces and nifty features like secret hatches, moving walls and a sliding ladder. The architect based the design on that of his heroes, including Carlo Scarpa and John Soane.

Murphy describes the building as “a quarter Soane, a quarter Scarpa, a quarter eco-house and a quarter Wallace and Gromit”.

Find out more about Murphy House ›

Clock House, London, England by Margaret Bursa

Clock House, London, England by Margaret Bursa

Margaret Bursa – a director at Archmongers – remodelled and extended a 1960s terrace house in London to provide a home for herself, her husband, and their young child. The architect updated the facade with glazed tiles similar to those found on the city’s tube stations.

“I really enjoy the way they reflect the lights of the city after dark,” said Bursa.”They offer a lively, hardwearing surface and reflect the designs of London’s pubs and traditional underground train stations.”

Find out more about Clock House ›

My Home & Office, Florence, Italy by Silvia Allori

Furniture folds down from the walls and a shiny gold curtain hides mess in this 1970s flat in Florence, which was overhauled by architect Silvia Allori to create her own home and workspace.

“White laminate is predominant and it has been used playfully on the walls of the living room to hide cabinets, a table, neon lights and plasters, which are never exposed,” explained Allori. “The cabinets and the table disappear within the laminated niches.”

Find out more about My Home & Office ›

Collage House, London, England by Jonathan Tuckey Design

Jonathan Tuckey overhauled a 19th-century London workshop to create a unique home for his family and their dog. He chose “simple and everyday” materials to rejuvenate the character of the building and added a series of playful elements to suit his children.

“The house provides a variety of spaces that are at once fun for the younger members of the family, while at the same time providing a place of reflection and escape from the surrounding bustling and densely built up London streets,” said the architect.

Find out more about Collage House ›

The post 10 homes architects and designers have created for themselves appeared first on Dezeen.

This week's Dezeen Mail features a wedged-brick monument and a self-designed skinny house

The latest edition of Dezeen Mail contains a cross-shaped, 14-storey monument imagined by Giles Miller and Forbes Massie and a skinny house in Rotterdam self-designed by a pair of architectsSubscribe to Dezeen Mail ›

The post This week’s Dezeen Mail features a wedged-brick monument and a self-designed skinny house appeared first on Dezeen.

Soccer media solutions

Within an area of 500 sq m located in Santa Fe, México City, RIMA Architecture, made an interesting office complex centered on the functionalit..

The Books Every Designer Must Read

Today’s topic is a common but important one: what’s one of the books that got you interested in pursuing design? What’s a book that continues to inspire and influence your work? On the Core77 discussion boards, maehoosadie asked the experts in our design community: what are the best and brightest books out there for designers?

“I was curious what books have influenced your creative or design processes. Two of my professors have stressed the importance of curating a design library and gave several suggestions on getting started…I was hoping to hear what others in the industry enjoy reading on design, or any other topic. I’ve got a few on minimalism and sustainability I’m hoping to read as well, and I’d love to hear your recommendations and discuss your thoughts!”

(Editor’s Note: maehoosadie also includes a great list below her question of must-read design books worth checking out!)

Here are a few responses to this reader’s question straight from our audience—

Aircraft by Le Corbusier

“It is a funky short book, presumable about aircraft but really about how he saw technology could reshape culture. It can be read in about 30 minutes.” — yo

The Best Interface is No Interface by Golden Krishna

“This book was recommended by a friend, and we both work in the furniture industry. Although the book talks a lot about the digital world, its been incredibly inspiring and changed the way I think about interfacing with products.” — AVClub

“Currently reading Designing Design by Kenya Hara which has some interesting perspectives.

I also like:
Super Normal by Naoto Fukasawa & Jasper Morrison
Okala Practitioner by iDSA
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christiansen”


“I could also recommend a couple books from IDEO’s Tom Kelley:
The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation.” — Architorture


So tell us—what’s missing from this list? Share your must-reads with the Core77 audience in the comment feed below or in the original discussion board thread!

IDEO's Online Course on Design Leadership Begins Next Week

Which do you think is harder to teach: Design, or how to lead a design team? I think it’s got to be the latter, as in addition to your own crazy you’ve now got to manage other people’s crazy. I’ve started reading Ed Catmull’s “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” to learn more about it.

For those of you seeking more than a book on the subject, IDEO is offering a course on design leadership starting next week. IDEO CEO Tim Brown is presenting “Leading for Creativity,” a four-week course, through their online IDEO U portal starting on February 22nd.

Leading for Creativity teaches approaches that empower individuals and teams to search for innovative solutions. You’ll learn how to break down a bold vision into actionable challenges; make adjustments to culture by designing rituals and space; and guide teams into the unknown through the process of experimentation. Tim Brown, along with some of IDEO’s most experienced leaders and inspiring creative partners, will help you unlock the potential of your team or organization.

Here’s the pitch video:

In terms of time commitment, it requires roughly three hours a week—one to watch the content, two to execute the assignments and mingle in the community forum—for four weeks. The course runs $599 and you can get more details on it here.

Reader Submitted: A Wearable Speaker Concept for Music Lovers and Gamers

SSME Necho 5.1 is a surround sound system that is worn around the neck.The idea for the Necho came to me when I absolutely had to have a surround sound system in my computer room. I realized I would have had to undergo a massive project just to add speakers to the room. There had to be an easier way to achieve the sound quality I was looking for.

View the full project here

Neba Table by Nüvist

We have hurry and chaos life and environments. And we need simple and tranquil things in our lives. So we try to represent simplicity with easy endles..

Cave by Stipfold

As soon as you enter the space, the core aesthetic of the design unfolds and it is only possible to see the main room through the tilted hallway. The ..

Rain's Weekly Design Minutiae

A lot of designers get their products’ primary functions just right. But I’m also interested in products’ secondary and tertiary functions—and particularly how products are used in between the moments when they are performing their original function. For this week I’m going to talk gloves.

We all buy gloves for our specific needs: Some of you need to text, others buy for fashion, still others need a pair that can endure outdoor labor. The gloves I wear are a function of owning two active dogs. I’m outside for long stretches three times a day, 365 days a year, harsh winter weather is no exception.

Main Functions


Unless you’re buying for fashion, this is a solved problem.


Depends on your task. Some gloves have grips that prevent axe handles from sliding away, others have conductive pads so you can Tweet out of doors. My test is simple and mimicked in-store at the time of purchase: If I can wear one glove to stretch a plastic bag over the other and then pick up a nugget of dog shit with it, ding ding.


Prior to owning dogs I wore fabric gloves or, if I was driving that day, leather gloves so I could grip a slippery steering wheel inside a freezing car. But you learn that fabric and leather gloves cannot withstand the abrasion of a nylon dog leash handle constantly encircling them. I also found they got quickly soggy in thunderstorms and winter storms.

So I switched to weatherproof gloves designed for outdoor use and made with a Cordura-like fabric around the wrists where the leash handle contacts them. 

These Carhartt gloves have seen three years of heavy use and reveal no discernible wear around the wrists.

Extracurricular Functions

Snot Management

My favorite function of a glove is one I never used to think about: Mucus management. When it’s below freezing outside, after fifteen minutes my nose starts to run and doesn’t stop. Having that soft microfiber strip to wipe your nose on is awesome. It leaves a gross white strip, and as your nose keeps running you need to find a fresh spot and it starts to look like you’re scratching out days on a prison cell wall, but it’s better than having it run down your face. People in crosswalks look at your face, not your snot strip.

Sadly, I had to retire the Carhartt gloves because after only three years the snot strips wore out and started to alligator. They currently feel like 120-grit sandpaper. Wiping your nose on them is unpleasant and rubs it raw.

Snot working anymore

The gloves are otherwise perfect. It’s a shame the snot strip is not renewable or replaceable. That they’re not is a really dumb reason to have to stop using them.

I replaced them with a pair of Burton gloves. They’re designed for snowboarding but offer identical function and dexterity to the Carhartts.

Nice, new snot strip

Holding Stuff

Some gloves have small zipper pockets on the back. 

I never use them. I never use the tightening straps either, but I’ve found this strap is perfect for storing dog bags that I load into it before I leave the house. 

Easy to grab with the other hand

It’s easier to pull a bag out of the strap (only requires one hand) than to tear a new bag out of the dispenser (requires two hands, one of which has the leashes around it).

Requires two hands; is not easy to unspool and tear at the perforation

Not Getting Lost

This ought be one of the main features yet is completely overlooked. There’s nothing worse than losing one glove, as the other is still perfectly good but now rendered worthless. Each winter I see single gloves all over Manhattan, on coffee shop counters, subway platforms and on the sidewalk. I instantly picture its twin sitting in a nice, warm garbage can in the owner’s home after the discovery is made.

Several winters ago I stopped losing gloves by buying one of these cheapie carabiners that they have in a jar next to the register at hardware stores. 

The carabiner lives on the leftmost belt loop of my pants. Gloves of the sort that I buy have little loops for tightening the wrists:

Anytime I need to remove my gloves, the carabiner goes through these tightening loops and I hang them from my belt loop. Repetition makes you fast at this and now I do it without thinking.

If you go this route, pull the spring latch back and inspect the carabiner’s hook before you buy it, as there are two types. This first type is no good:

See that little indent? The glove loop will always snag on that when you try to remove it. Sounds trivial but it’s a pain in the ass; removing the glove should be a smooth, thoughtless motion. So look for this type of carabiner:

Absent the notch, the glove loops slide right off.

I’ll never lose my gloves again. But ironically, I’m typing this to you the week that I lost my favorite friggin’ hat. It was one of those super-warm knit watchmen’s caps. It disappeared sometime on Monday and I haven’t seen it since.

The Better Than Ever CB 400


In the early 80s, Brazilians rejoiced at the news Honda would produce the milestone CB400 in their native country. Much to many Brazilian gearheads dismay, it was discontinued in 2012 and replaced with more technologically advanced options. Designer João Paulo Caetano Moreira’s modern concept aims to bring back this bad boy, ironically with new relevance in the form of a vintage style cafe racer!

The midsize bike still sports a 400 CC engine and maintains some of the signature aesthetic elements like the tank and tail. Despite its focus on heritage, a few new bells and whistles stand out, including a fingerprint scanner fuel tank access system, a digital display with smartphone syncing capability, and cameras integrated into the handlebars which then feed directly to the rider’s helmet display!

Designer: João Paulo Caetano Moreira